The Last Summer Book Launch Party!

Loveys, yesterday afternoon I told the Jeffster, "This is my last party ever. If I mention another one, tell me I can't do it."

He laughed. Then he said, "Bran, I don't have that much power."

I was smack-dab in the middle of prepping for my book launch party. Meaning I was going a mile a minute trying to get things ready. Doesn't it always seem as though everything unravels right before a party? The books I ordered never arrived. There were cake issues at the store and I almost cried. The dress I wanted to wear apparently doesn't fit me anymore (sob!). Weather predictions had been hot and sunny all week, then I woke up to clouds and wind on Sunday morning.

By the time seven rolled around and Jeff and the kids were settled watching a movie upstairs, I was exhausted and ready for a sangria (or three). People started arriving (starting with Sam, thank you, sweetie). The sun came back out and warmed everything up. The cake was fine. And I found a dress to wear. Music was playing. Guests were mingling. I was still running about, trying to talk to everyone and keep track of things I was forgetting (like reminding people of the gift bags and where the hot appetizers were. Good grief).

But every time I paused to take a breath--truly, everything seemed fine. Friends filling my house, laughing, talking, meeting new people. Nancy opening more bottles of wine when we were running low. Cami and Liz opening the bags of chips because I forgot. Danielle snapping pictures that I'll treasure.

And that's the heart of a party.


I think the highlight of the evening for me was my friend Jen Turano's reading from The Last Summer. Jen is one of my favorite historical fiction authors. When I found out she lived in Denver, I reached out to her, because, well, she's awesome and I want us to be friends. And she was kind enough to come to my party and do a reading and share some of her own publishing story. And for a writer, hearing stories and sharing stories pretty much takes the cake. There were some questions afterward, lots of laughter, and I loved it.

A book launch party is, of course, a way to celebrate a book release and get the word out about your book. But to me, it's mostly a reason to get together with friends. When you're planning a party, you're thinking of your guests. What food to serve. What music to play. What games or ideas you can come up with so it will be fun for them. The book is there--but the guests are the ones experiencing the party with you. Planning/hosting the party is my gift to them. And to me, their presence and support and time is their gift to me. And it means so much.

In the end, it's a fun, summer's night shindig with wonderful friends, complete with flip-flop party favors and sweet tea sangria. To me, as I'm getting older, these moments are worth marking. Birthdays and milestones and job changes or moving to a new place. (As you can see, I like reasons to party!) In big and small ways, acknowledging these moments in our lives is a good thing.

I'm so grateful for everyone who came out to help launch The Last Summer. My heart was so full. And we finished off the end of the night with a little dancing.

Those summer nights, lovey.

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